February 26th, 2007

Whale fluke

Random Oscar observations

So that's how Martin Scorcese looks when (finally, finally, FINALLY) getting an Oscar: Very. Quietly. Happy. I keep flashing on him standing to the side of the stage, holding his Best Director Oscar, while his producer accepts the Best Picture Oscar for The Departed, and I sense this calm joy coming off of Scorcese. And as he's not the calmest guy in Hollywood, that's saying something. (I'm glad his brilliant editor Thelma Schoonmaker, when she won, acknowledged that they can drive each other nuts.)

Not the best Oscar ceremony I've seen -- for one thing, it was so well-behaved (whereas I still cherish the enormous gasp in the crowd when Kathy Bates won for Misery) -- but some good people got awards. Yes, I cheered at Forest Whitaker winning, and smiled at Helen Mirren winning, and felt good that Jennifer Hudson won, and was really happy with Pan's Labyrinth doing well. And, hey: Marc Shaiman was on piano! And we got to hear John C. Reilly sing! (Now that's someone who can do anything...)

I admit I feel a little disconnected to the movies of 2006. As I told a friend yesterday, I saw only three films in the theatre in the entire second half of last year, and those films were Snakes on a Plane, Borat, and Casino Royale (though all three got at least some mention on the Oscars last night, which amuses me). Probably the year I felt the strongest connection to was 1991's slate of Oscar nominees: where the winners included The Fisher King and Beauty and the Beast ("But it is bittersweet," Howard Ashman's partner Bill Lauch said; "this is the first Oscar winner we've lost to AIDS"), and where The Silence of the Lambs had a sweep I was genuinely happy about, and where Jack Palance (rest in peace, good sir) showed how much energy he still had. So that's my gold standard for Oscar ceremonies.

But, still: Marty won! As he should've done many years ago...
Whale fluke

Wow, I CAN be a jerk

I like to think that I only become actively annoying to people who've already been annoying towards me. That said, here's what happened this evening:

There's a particular bus driver on my main route between downtown and home. He's this hunched-over, squat, scowling guy, who as far as I can tell doesn't smile so much as grimace. We've had a run-in before, a few years ago: put simply, he got annoyed with me because I didn't do something, but I talked later to a bus driver I was acquainted with and found out that I didn't have to do -- in fact, I shouldn't have done -- what he wanted me to do. (If that makes no sense, tell me. I'll explain.(Edit: And explain I have! See my big-ass comment.)) That, combined with this driver looking kind of like the ex-husband of one of my family members (just without the charm that was one of this ex's few almost-redeeming features), cemented him in my memory as someone who wasn't a fair person. So I admit to malice aforethought that led to this:

I saw that driver again today.

Having walked off OHSU's Pill Hill, I'd reached the last stop on the west side of the Ross Island Bridge. A minute later, my bus appears, among the two lanes of eastbound traffic. I signal to the driver, and wait on the sidewalk. The bus slows, but doesn't change lanes and doesn't stop. Then, the bus pulls into the bus pulloff and stops (keep in mind, that's the first time the bus had stopped since I saw it).

The door opens. It's him. And he gestures with his hands, and grumbles, smiling slightly but again, it's really a grimace. The message: You should have walked into the pulloff lane so I didn't have to pull out of traffic. Now I have to wait for traffic to let me back in.

I stand near the front, gesture to the car passing on the bus's left and say, brightly, "You could just crash into him."

He doesn't look at me.

He next says, gesturing as well, "Get, behind..."

I look down. My left foot is sticking halfway past the yellow line. "Oh," I say, and move my foot back. A pause. Then, "Oh...my face is forward of it, too." And I move my head and upper body farther back.

He says nothing else to me on the trip.

I decide to get off one stop before my usual stop. Someone else pulls the cord for that stop before I do, so the driver's definitely going to stop. The other person moves to the back door. I stay near the front door. The driver stops the bus. The driver opens the doors. I jump out, reasonably jauntily.

I then madly wave my left arm over my head in that move-it! gesture, like a hyped-up member of a NASCAR pit crew waving his car back towards the track, and yell "GO! GO! GO! YOU CAN MAKE UP TIME! GO! GO! GO!"

This was straaaaaaangely satisfying.